In Memoriam: Musicians We’ve Lost in 2022

Even as the music industry as a whole made great strides in 2022, especially after the partial COVID-19 stagnancy, we suffered massive losses with the deaths of some of the most talented musicians. From drum legend Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters to New Zealand’s pioneer DnB DJ Jay Bulletproof, fans will reminisce about the departed artists with the musical legacy they have left behind.

With 2022 coming to an end, we take a look back at some incredible musicians we’ve lost this year.

Meat Loaf (September 27, 1947 – January 20, 2022)

American singer and actor Meat Loaf passed away earlier this year in January at the age of 74. Marvin Lee Aday, known popularly as Meat Loaf, rose to popularity after the release of his debut 1977 record, ‘Bat Out of Hell.’ His illustrious career also spawned hits such as ‘Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell,’ the follow-up of his debut album, Grammy-award winning track ‘I’d Do Anything for Love,’ ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light,’ and many more.

His death was announced on Facebook by his family. “Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side,” read the statement. “We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man. From his heart to your souls… don’t ever stop rocking!”

Lata Mangeshkar (September 28, 1929 – February 6, 2022)

Indian veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar died in February of this year after a prolonged illness due to COVID-19. Known as the “Nightingale of India,” Lata Mangeshkar debuted as a Bollywood playback singer at the tender age of 13 in 1924. With a back catalog that spanned over seven decades, she was the most sought-after voice for the biggest female stars of Bollywood. Lata Mangeshkar sang over 30,000 songs spanning multiple genres and 36 languages. 

“It is with profound grief that we announce the sad demise of Lata Mangeshkar,” said a hospital representative proclaiming her death. “She has died because of multi-organ failure after more than 28 days of hospitalisation post COVID-19.” Lata Mangeshkar was 92 at the time of passing.

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Jamal Edwards (August 24, 1990 – February 16, 2022)

Jamal Edwards, The Founder of SBTV, drew his last breath on February 20 at the age of 31, his manager confirmed. During his short lifespan, Edwards earned a wide range of accomplishments as an entrepreneur, DJ, and director. Born in Luton, England, as a teenager, he built SBTV – an online media platform focused on discovering new and upcoming artists. His company is credited with launching the careers of the music industry’s top artists. It includes Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Skepta, Jessie J, Dave, Stormzy, Tori Kelly, and many more.

“I have sadly learned that the cause of Jamal’s devastating passing was due to cardiac arrhythmia,” Jamal’s mother, Brenda Edwards, wrote in a statement. “We have been so incredibly touched by the outpouring of love and support, and you are all helping us try and get through the unimaginable.”

Taylor Hawkins (February 17, 1972 – March 25, 2022)

Foo Fighter’s legendary drummer Taylor Hawkins had an untimely demise at the age of 50 in a hotel in Bogota. The band was in Colombia as part of their South American tour and was set to headline a massive festival in Brazil mere days after his passing. 

Hailed as one of the greatest drummers of our time, Hawkins’s career with Foo Fighters spanned 25 years. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins. His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever,” the band said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time.”

Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode (July 8, 1961 – May 26, 2022)

Keyboard player and co-founding member of Depeche Mode, Andy Fletcher, died at the age of 60 after suffering an aortic dissection at home. Bandmates Martin Gore and Dave Gahan noted Andy passed away “naturally and without prolonged suffering,” as per a statement by them on Facebook. “It’s been a strange, sad, disorienting few weeks for us here, to say the least. But we’ve seen and felt all of your love and support, and we know that Andy’s family has too,” read the statement. 

His family also invited fans to support and donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust as a tribute to the departed musician. “Andy passionately supported Teenage Cancer Trust over many decades after being introduced to it by its founders. Depeche Mode became massive supporters of the charity and raised huge sums of money with the help of their amazing fans around the world,” they said

Olivia Newton-John (September 26, 1948 – August 8, 2022)

Australian singer/actor Olivia Newton-John’s demise this year shocked the music and movie industries alike. The star sold over 100 million albums during her longstanding career, having risen to popularity for her leading role in the 1978 blockbuster musical movie ‘Grease.’ Olivia passed away after a prolonged battle with breast cancer that began in 1992, but it wasn’t until 2018 that the star chose to reveal her medical condition to her fans. 

“Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” read a statement shared on social media to announce her death. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer.”

PnB Rock (December 9, 1991 – September 12, 2022)

Born Rakim Hasheem Allen, rapper PnB Rock lost his life amidst an attempted robbery. He was shot dead at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles in Los Angeles with his girlfriend when robbers tried to pilfer their jewelry and valuables. Following the tragic incident, PnB Rock’s girlfriend opened up on social media, saying how the rapper saved her life.

“My man saved my life, Throwing me under that table. I’m not supposed to be here but bc of him. I am. No one would be able to handle this. TBH, I can’t even handle this,” she wrote. “To witness what I saw and to keep seeing it in my head, to being forced out the restaurant, to not be able to go in the ambulance or the hospital… while all this is going on and to be the last person in this world to know my man didn’t make it after having the faith and confidence that he was.”

PnB Rock is survived by his girlfriend and their two-year-old daughter. 

Jay Bulletproof (September 29, 2022)

The illustrious drum & bass producer who shaped New Zealand into one of the powerhouses of the genre has died after suffering a brain hemorrhage earlier this week. Drum & bass lost one of its finest pioneers in September when family members announced the passing of DnB producer Jay Bulletproof.

“I want to reiterate my family’s deep gratitude for all of the memories, kind words and virtual hugs we received whilst we were at the hospital with Jay and after his passing,” the message read. “You cannot know how much this has helped my family. We are all very proud of Jay and his accomplishments but to see the sheer magnitude the effect of his passing has had on his wider friend and acquaintance group has been incomprehensible.”

Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac (July 12, 1943 – November 30, 2022)

Fans of Fleetwood Mac incurred a massive blow in the final months of 2022 upon the announcement of singer-songwriter and keyboardist Christine McVie’s death. She was one of the key members to surge Fleetwood Mac’s impact across the world and has churned out hits like ‘Everywhere,’ ‘Little Lies,’ ‘Songbird,’ ‘You Making Loving Fun,’ and many others.

The internet flooded with tributes after the announcement, including bandmates Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. “There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie. She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure. She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life,” the band said.

Maxi Jazz (June 14, 1957 – December 23, 2022)

DJ, singer and lead vocalist for the British dance music band, Faithless, has died at the age of 65. The music community suffered an irreplaceable loss on Christmas eve when Sister Bliss from the celebrated British dance music band, Faithless, announced the passing of its lead singer, Maxi Jazz. Known for his profound voice and powerful lyricism, Maxi Jazz, along with his crew Rollo, Sister Bliss, and Cotto, produced hits like ‘Insomnia,’ ‘We Come 1,’ ‘God Is A DJ,’ and many more, which kickstarted a new era in dance music back in 1996.

A statement from the band said, “He was a man who changed our lives in so many ways. He gave proper meaning and a message to our music. He was also a lovely human being with time for everyone and a wisdom that was both profound and accessible. It was an honour and, of course, a true pleasure to work with him. He was a brilliant lyricist, DJ, Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius.”

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In Memoriam: Musicians We’ve Lost in 2021

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